ElasticRun seals $40m funding in last-mile logistics push

Indian startup secures financial commitment from South Africa's Naspers – well-known as an early investor in Chinese tech giant Tencent.

Indian logistics startup ElasticRun has secured $40 million in its Series C round of funding from Prosus Ventures, the venture arm of South African internet and media group Naspers. 

Existing investors Avataar Ventures and Kalaari Capital also participated in the round, the firm said in a statement.

The fundraising has grabbed the attention of the global investment community because Naspers has a track record of identifying early-stage startups. It is best-known as an investor in Tencent when the Chinese tech giant was a little-known startup in 2001.

Naspers remains the largest shareholder of Tencent, Asia’s largest company by market capitalisation.

ElasticRun, which currently has a presence across 200 Indian cities, has developed an online system that improves the reception of orders from customers and the dispatch of delivery drivers.

Based on the so-called shared economy concept, ElasticRun aggregates spare logistics infrastructure capacity from businesses like local stores, local couriers, and small and medium sized businesses to fulfil customer orders.

The three-year-old startup counts Amazon India and Procter & Gamble among its top customers.

Proceeds from the new funding round will be used to improve its technology platform, develop new product categories and expand its network coverage.

“The last-mile problem is still a major issue both for logistics and consumer goods companies in India,” said ElasticRun co-founder Sandeep Deshmukh. “By working with the network of small stores across the country, we solve that problem while helping the store owners grow their businesses.” 

“ElasticRun is one of those rare businesses that identified a massive need in the market, matched it with a local solution paired with technology, for the benefit of all parties involved,” said Ashutosh Sharma, head of India investments at Prosus Ventures.

“Consumers get faster deliveries and a greater choice of goods; store owners realise increased revenues and touchpoints with their customers, and consumer goods companies get better access and insight into their target audiences.”

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